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90

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 145 Ratings

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  • Summary: Condemned to six years in prison, Malik El Djebena cannot read or write. Arriving at the jail entirely alone, he appears younger and more fragile than the other convicts. He is 19 years old. Cornered by the leader of the Corsican gang who rules the prison, he is given a number of "missions" to carry out, toughening him up and gaining the gang leader's confidence in the process. But Malik is brave and a fast learner, daring to secretly develop his own plans. (Sony Pictures Classics) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 30
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 30
  3. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Why do we care? Because never before have the steps to thugdom, as depressing as that destination may be, been so rigorously detailed, neither romanticized nor negated. Don’t miss.
  2. Reviewed by: James Adams
    100
    One caveat: At the risk of sounding sexist, let me say A Prophet is an unreservedly male film. Female characters are few and far between, and when they do appear, they pretty much fall into either one of two categories – les mamans ou les putains.
  3. 88
    It’s imperfect, but it’s daring, bold, and from a director who isn’t scared of anything.
  4. A Prophet pushes its protagonist into circumstances he did not choose but in which he watches and learns and kills and eventually becomes all he can be, albeit criminally. Certainly Muslims living in France have embraced the movie and Malik, played by Rahim
  5. Rahim and Arestrup are both so outstanding that if this were an English-language film, they'd probably be nominated for Oscars, too.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    A compelling piece of naturalistic filmmaking, claustrophobic and thought-provoking.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Nov 23, 2010
    10
    What is really great about this movie, is the simplicity of it. An Arabian man who is sentenced to six years in prison soon is confronted by a Corsican gang who gives him several tasks to do, soon becoming a ruthless gang member, and he can't even read or write.There is this sense of immense greatness toward Malik who is only 19 years old and seems like the only nice guy who won't shoot an inmate. And the Corsican gang seems to be his only refuge, even if he doesn't like it. The plot is simply told, not through verbal communication, but in several instances where the filmakers step you outside the movie and try to tell you, "This is Malik now." He soon becomes productive, and ruthless. He slowly rebuilds his life. A perfect crime drama that has things anybody could ask for in one. Expand
  2. Jun 30, 2011
    10
    This film is excellent and possibly one of the most powerful crime dramas i've ever seen. Without giving away details of the plot, i will say that the acting goes a long way in lending the movie its impact, especially from Niels Arestrup as the aging corsican mob boss who evokes pathos and hostility in equal measure. The direction by Jacques Audiard is sure-handed, and the film works both as a thriller and an intimate human drama. Not to be missed by anyone with a love for movies Expand
  3. Nov 8, 2012
    10
    A new crime classic; A Prophet is a masterful work and an excellent example of fantastic acting, writing, and directing.
  4. Oct 1, 2010
    9
    Simply a fantastic movie! Its gritty, intense, and yet somehow its not at all over the top. The fact that its almost entirely in subtitles did not hinder me in the least from enjoying this magnificent picture. Everyone's acting is top notch. The plot is woven to perfection, and the movie has this realistic feel almost like your standing next to everything that's happening. The movie certainly addresses racial, cultural, and religious tension as our main protagonist hops back and forth between the world of the Corsicans and that of the Muslims (He himself is of mixed decent and in a lot of ways is not fully accepted by either side). The movie is long and when you think about its rather slow, but while watching it, it really doesn't feel that way. I don't want to spoil to much for you, but for any fan of the crime genre or just quality movies in general this film is an absolute must see! Expand
  5. Apr 13, 2011
    9
    An interesting film which could have been grim but is leavened by unexpected light touches and a powerful central performance by Tahar Rahim as a young, newly incarcerated inmate of the French prison system who has to work out as quickly as possible how to survive in the internecine world of the prison with its hierarchies, loyalties and treachery. The film feels authentic and is neither didactic nor judgmental as it revolves around two or three powerful characters but draws in many more - this is a compelling, multi-layered picture of prison life but also of what awaits in the outside world, speaking of bleak reality while leaving room for individuals' dreams, however misguided. Expand
  6. Feb 12, 2011
    9
    A Prophet is about a young Arab man sent to a French prison where he became a drug kingpin. Malik is Arabian (Muslim), most of his inmates are Corsicans so there was a big separation. Malik is known for siding with the enemies. He works for the Corsicans but at the same time bond with the Muslims. Malik is illiterate and has no support outside of prison so his life in jail is all he has.
    It seems as though Malik has a struggle of character once every five minutes of the film. If he's now doubting his decisions, he's getting his ass kicked by a Corsican. Director Jacques Audiard has done a fine job of creating this complicated yet fragile character that even if you can't understand him, you side with him. The film also demonstrates how a prison might make you do things that you'd never imagined. Filled with violence and gory details, finely crafted, and beautifully cinematographed, A Prophet is one of the best that the French film industry has to offer. (not to mention impressive performances out of the cast)
    Expand
  7. Aug 11, 2010
    6
    This movie is amazingly overrated. People are comparing it to godfather and goodfellas. Well, in sport of those great gangster films, "a prophet" didn't give me that tingle that those other films did. It wasn't anything special and i could've gone without it. i watched it on blu ray and it was really long. i usually love long films but they have to keep me interested. i couldn't keep focus with this film. i'm guessing i need to watch it more than once to understand it. it was good but not amazing like so many are saying. Expand

See all 27 User Reviews

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